Having overcome the challenges of getting participants to Latvia in a COVID-19 environment, the next challenge was how to design a competition for so many armored fighting vehicles. To overcome this challenge, the IRON SPEAR competition was split into two separate competitions. One competition was designed to challenge the unique skills required of an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) crew, whereas the other was designed to push the main battle tank (MBT) crews to their limit. In addition to these two competitions there was also a day time and a night time firepower demonstration. Both firepower demonstrations included armored fighting vehicles from Canada, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Poland, Great-Britain, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, France and Latvia. Furthermore, during the day time firepower demonstration the United States Black Hawk helicopters and the Italian Euro Fighter jets were also involved adding more flags to the multinational event.
The IRON SPEAR competition took place from October 10–15 , and during this time the skill of the armored crews and the capabilities of their respective vehicles were on full display. In addition to the competitors, crowds gathered on the range each day to wave flags, cheer, and at times, sing songs to encourage their compatriots. The pride was palpable! Despite the exceptional performance of all participants, it was ultimately the Norwegian MBT and IFV crews who walked away with the IRON SPEAR trophy for the top MBT crew and the IRON CUP trophy for the top IFV crew. Following the awards ceremony, there were some great discussions (at a distance of course) that took place between the crews from the various nations. During these discussions the exchange of ideas was paralleled only by the exchange of patches and national flags. The camaraderie, friendship and cooperation both during and after the competition was a testament to the strength and unity of NATO. The eFP BG Latvia was proud to host this event and is looking forward to making it even better the next time around.